Tuesday | January 16, 2018
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Your Views for May 23

There is a bias

The Hawaii County Council has spoken. There is no bias against Puna. How dare Jen Ruggles propose such an idea, and if she would only learn to kiss okole she would have a better chance to get her projects supported.

Taking a quick look at the mayor’s proposed budget confirms that there is indeed bias against Puna: Of the 37 projects totalling $173.9 million stated in the capital projects fund, only one is for Puna, a mere $20 million, or 11.5 percent of the total. Of the couple hundred pages in the budget, I could probably count the line items for Puna without even using all my toes.

Puna’s one capital improvement project requesting loan funding in the new budget is supposed to be a secondary access road in and out of lower Puna. But there is a problem with that proposal. It comes up short and leaves everyone in lower Puna trapped because there is only one road (Highway 130) between Shower Drive and Keaau.

A couple days ago, Highway 130 was closed for eight hours while emergency crews respond to a hit-and-run which burned alive a dude in his car. The week before the road was closed for three hours for another accident. Two weeks before that, it was closed for hours, and so on.

It is now confirmed in writing, and for the world to see, the Hawaii Department of Transportation and Hawaii County are complicit in denying lower Puna secondary access, as well as emergency access.

How dare we complain? There’s no bias here folks; move along. You losers in lower Puna can just sit in your cars burning gas and paying increased gas taxes, while you’re at it. We don’t care, because the way it is now, you have to come to Hilo work and to buy your stuff, and we like taking your money. Ha, ha, ha.

With 80,000 subdivided lots in Puna alone (over half of the lots on the entire island), it would behoove you council members to actually start thinking about Puna for a change.

Stop making everything so difficult. It’s so easy, even I can think of it. W. H. Shipman can give Railroad Avenue back to the people, at least from Shower to Keaau, and you can open the already existing road.

Thanks for your interest in this problem.

Sara Steiner



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